Slovenian cooking encompasses some native dishes, such as kranjske klobase (Carniolan sausages), potica, and štruklji (rolled dumplings). Other dishes have been influenced by the neighboring regions: Austria (zavitek strudel), Hungary (golaž goulash), Italy (rižota risotto), and recently the Balkans (ražnjiči shishkebob). The main meal is almost unthinkable without soup, all year around. Vegetables, stewed or boiled, are seasoned with cream or bread crumbs browned in butter. Dried beans are eaten warm with sauerkraut or in salad with onion. Sauerkraut and sour turnips are topped with ocvirki (cracklings). Potatoes, an important part of the diet, are usually served sauteed (pražen krompir) or boiled and topped with ocvirki. Salads, often grown in the family garden, vary with the season. Bread used to be baked at home in krušna peč (literally: bread oven), which occupied a corner of the family room and was made of brick and faced with green or brown tiles. Benches were attached on two sides, and the stove was large enough for a man to sleep on the top on a cold night. The stove was heated with wood from an opening in the hallway (veža). For baking, the ashes were pushed aside and the dough for several loafs of bread was introduced with a long paddle in the hot oven. Other dishes were baked in the oven as well. Many farm houses still have such stoves.
A wide variety of dishes is made from wheat flour (dumplings, rolled dumplings, etc.), from buckwheat flour (žganci, štruklji), from corn meal (polenta), and with millet meal (kaša). Mashed potatoes are added to the dough for dumplings, which can be either plain or filled with plums (češpljevi cmoki) or apricots (marelični cmoki). Traditional sweets are flancati (crisp deep fried pastry), krofi (doughnuts)—with or without jam—and potica, the latter with either walnut, raisin, tarragon, honey or even chocolate filling. Palačinke (crepes) filled with jam or walnuts are also popular. Fruits (cherries, apricots, peaches, pears) are preserved in Mason jars and served as dessert in the winter. Dried fruits (apples, pears, prunes) are used to prepare cereal and rice dishes or compote. Morello cherries (višnje), which are slightly bitter, are preserved in brandy. Green walnuts preserved in syrup are a delicacy. Visit this internet site for Slovenian recipes in English. Below are a few favored Slovenian recipes:
KURJA OBARA (Chicken »gumbo«)
3 to 3.5 lb. chicken, cut up
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped celery
2 tablespoons oleo or fat
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 slice lemon or 1 tbsp vinegar
2 tablespoons flour
Place chicken in 3 cups of water and add salt, pepper, parsley, celery, onion, and marjoram. Let steam for ¾ of an hour or until meat is tender. Melt butter or fat in skillet and add flour. Brown over low flame, but do not burn. Now add this to the meat mixture and stir well. Add the remaining water and vinegar or lemon juice and let simmer for another 15 minutes. Dumplings or square noodles can be added if desired.
As prepared in Frank Sterle Slovenian Country House in Cleveland, Ohio
To make 12 crepes:
6 medium eggs
2 cups milk
1 rounded tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
1.5 cups flour oil or shortening
1/3 cup sour cream
With a whisk or wire whip, beat eggs until light and foamy. Add milk, sugar, salt, oil, and flour. Beat vigorously to blend. For each crepe, heat 2 tablespoons oil or shortening in 10-inch fry pan; pour off excess fat. Over hot flame or burner, add 3-ounce ladle of batter. Tip pan sideways to cover bottom with batter. Fry until edge is lacey brown and bubbly. Turn with spatula to briefly brown other side. Remove to plate; spoon sour cream down the middle; sprinkle with a little sugar. Overlap sides or roll. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. Jam may be used as a filling.
SIROVI ŠTRUKLJI (Cottage cheese dumplings)
1.5 cups flour
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature
6 tablespoons lukewarm water
Measure flour into mixing bowl. Cut in butter. Add salt, egg, and water. With bowl slightly tipped, begin mixing egg and water with a fork. Gradually mix in flour until all is absorbed. Place on a floured board and knead by hand, until the dough is smooth, about 20 minutes. Use your judgement if more flour is needed (dough should not be sticky). Roll out to about 6 inches; spread with warm melted butter and let stand (covered with a bowl) for ½ hour or more.
1 pound dry cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
3 egg yolks stiff
½ teaspoon salt
2 egg whites, beaten
Mix together the cottage cheese, sour cream, unbeaten egg yolks, and salt. Mix well. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites; set aside. Flour large cloth covering table (about 36 x 40 inches). Pick up dough and flip a few times in the hands. Place on floured cloth and proceed to pull the dough the entire width and length of the table. Cut off thickened edge around dough. Spread filling on pulled dough and roll up into tight roll jelly-roll fashion. Wet a linen towel (about 30 inches long). Wrap the roll in the towel, tie one end with string, then wind the string around the roll and fasten it at the other end. Place in boiling salted water and simmer for 30 minutes. When cooked, drain, unwrap roll and cut into about 2-inch slices. Top with crumbs browned in butter.
(Tarragon/mint rolled dumplings)
Follow base recipe. Filling:
4 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon/mint leaves
2 cups sour cream
3 egg yolks
4 tablespoons sugar
2 egg whites, beaten stiff
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
Mix together the tarragon/mint, sour cream, unbeaten egg yolks, and sugar. Mix well. Fold in stiftly beaten egg whites. After spreading the filling, sprinkle with bread crumbs.
There are over 60 kinds of štruklji.
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 cup scalded milk
1 package of active dry or 1 cake yeast
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks slightly beaten
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1 teaspoon salt
3.5 to 4 cups sifted all purpose flour
12 tablespoons scalded light cream
4 cups ground walnuts (packed)
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
2 egg whites
Making the dough:
Filling and baking:
|The potica is excellent.
Potica je izvrstna.
|Could you give me the recipe for this cake/dish?
Mi lahko daste recept za tole pecivo/jed?
More recipes of Slovenian dishes can be found in the following Slovenian-American cookbooks: Treasured Slovenian and International Recipes, available from Progressive Slovenian Women of America, 4332 West 52nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44144; Pots and Pans: A Slovenian-American Cookbook, available for $ 10.00 from Slovenian Women's Union of America, 431 North Chicago Street, Joliet, Illinois 60432.
These books use American measurements, while in Slovenia ingredients are measured in metric units.
Compare simple conversion instructions above. Some other frequently used measurements:
|1 dl = 1/3 cup
1 g = 0.35 oz.
|275° C = 525 F
250° C = 480 F
225° C = 435 F
190° C = 375 F
175° C = 345 F
The most frequently used spices and herbs in Slovenia are onion (čebula), garlic (česen), parsley (peteršilj), horseradish (hren), marjoram (majaron), tarragon (pehtran), vegeta (all-purpose seasoning), and, of course, salt (sol) and pepper (poper). Excellent sea salt comes from the salt basins near Portorož. Freshly grated horseradish is usually served with boiled ham.
shot glass kozarček
table cloth prt
SEARCHING FOR SLOVENE ROOTS
If you are of Slovenian ancestry and want to know more about your family tree, contact your known relatives before going abroad. Ask what they know about your ancestors, including dates and places of birth. Your initial contacts may also provide information on other relatives here or abroad who may have known your family. In Slovenia vital records going back 100 years are kept by county (občina) vital statistics offices (oddelek za matične zadeve). A moderate fee is charged for birth and death records these offices supply. Records extending beyond the 100-year limit are kept in the biscopal archives (škofijski arhiv) in Ljubljana, Maribor, or Koper. Tombstones may be another source of information on relatives removed by one or two generations.
|Nadškofijski arhiv Ljubljana, Krekov trg 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana, tel. +(01) 43-37-044, fax +(01) 43-96-435|
|Škofijski arhiv Maribor, Koroška 1, SI-2000 Maribor, tel. +(02) 25-17-690, fax +(02) 25-23-092|
|Škofijski arhiv Koper, Trg Brolo 11, SI-6000 Koper, tel. +(05) 62-71-887, fax +(05) 62-71-059|
Sample letter of inquiry to the vital statistics office
Skupščina občine ... (Give name of the county seat here.)
Oddelek za matične zadeve
Gentlemen: I would like to request the birth and other records for Janez/Anka Tičar, born ca. 1900 in Srednja vas near Cerklje. I would also like the data on his/her parents. I am enclosing copies of family documents and 5 dollars for your help and kindness. Thank you.
prosim za rojstne in druge življenjske podatke na ime Janez/Anka Tičar, roj. okrog 1900, Srednja vas pri Cerkljah. Obenem želim podatke o njegovih/njenih starših. Prilagam kopije družinskih dokumentov in 5 dolarjev za trud in prijaznost. Vnaprej lepa hvala.
(Your name and address.)
|I am interested in learning more about my relatives.
Želim izvedeti kaj več o svojih sorodnikih.
|Do you know of any other relatives of mine?
Veste še za kakega drugega mojega sorodnika?
|Where does he/she live?
|Where was she born?
Kje se je rodila?
|When was he born?
Kdaj se je rodil?
|Do you know where and when he/she died?
Veste, kje in kdaj je umrl? /
Veste, kje in kdaj je umrla?
|Are your parents still alive?
Vaši starši še živijo?
|Where do they live?
|Do you know the names of the children?
Veste za imena otrok?
|Do you have any family pictures?
Imate kakšne družinske slike?
half brother polbrat
half sister polsestra
grandparents stari starši
grand father stari ata / dedek
grand mother stara mama / babica
Some Slovenian first names (with English equivalents)
Jaka (James, Jim)
Sample business letter
I would like to reserve a room with bath for one person / two persons for arrival on the 20th and departure on the 23rd of July. Kindly confirm my reservation by air mail or fax at above address, giving the rate and amount of deposit if any.
želim rezervirati enoposteljno/dvoposteljno sobo s kopalnico od 20. 7. do 23. 7. Prosim, da z letalsko pošto ali faksom potrdite rezervacijo na gornji naslov in navedete ceno ter višino morebitnega pologa.
Z lepimi pozdravi
Sample personal letter
I am coming to Slovenia with the Kollander tour in July. If you tell me how to get to Metlika, I would like to visit you and other relatives.
I have wanted for a long time to see the place my father talked so much about. The tour will be in Ljubljana from July 10 to July 20, and we will be staying at the Union Hotel.
I hope to hear from you soon.
your cousin Barbara
Address on the envelope:
Ga. Urška Novak
Pot v Bitnje 16
|Note: Married women always use their own first name, rather than their husband's.|
Pierz, Minn. 15. 5. 1987
julija obiščemo Slovenijo s Kollandrovo skupino. Če mi poveš, kako pridem v Metliko, te obiščem in tudi druge sorodnike.
Dolgo si že želim videti kraj, o katerem mi je oče tolikokrat pripovedoval. Naša skupina bo v Ljubljani od 10. do 20. 7. Stanovali bomo v hotelu Union.
Upam, da se kmalu oglasiš.
S prisrčnimi pozdravi
tvoja sestrična Barbara
Some phrases from which to choose
|Thank you for your nice letter.
Hvala za vaše prijazno pismo. /
Hvala za tvoje (fam.) prijazno pismo.
|I was very pleased to hear all the news.
Novice so me zelo razveselile.
|It is good to know that you are all doing well.
Veseli me, da vam gre vsem dobro.
|We are all in good health.
Pri nas smo vsi zdravi.
|John graduated from high school/college.
John je končal gimnazijo/college.
|Rosemary is getting married in June.
Rosemary se bo junija poročila.
|I changed jobs.
Jaz imam drugo službo.
|I am making more money.
|I am very happy.
Prav zadovoljen sem. / Prav zadovoljna sem (f.).
|We bought a house.
Kupili smo hišo.
|I moved to another apartment.
Preselil sem se v drugo stanovanje. /
Preselila sem se v drugo stanovanje (f.).
|I really like it. It is bigger.
Res mi ugaja. Je večje.
|We had a good trip home.
Srečno smo se vrnili domov.
|We enjoyed our visit to Slovenia very much.
Zelo smo uživali na obisku v Sloveniji.
|Many thanks for your hospitality.
Lepa hvala za vašo gostoljubnost.
|I am glad I met you and other relatives.
Veseli me, da zdaj poznam tebe (fam.) in druge sorodnike.
|The pictures we took on the trip came out very well.
Posnetki s potovanja so se lepo posrečili.
|I am sending you pictures we took at your house.
Pošiljam vam posnetke, ki smo jih napravili pri vas.
|We often talk about the nice time we had together.
Pogosto se spominjamo lepih uric, ko smo bili skupaj.
|We are making plans to visit Slovenia next summer.
Prihodnje poletje nameravamo potovati v Slovenijo.
|We will rent a car, so we can see the countryside, and visit relatives.
Najeli bomo avto, da si ogledamo deželo in obiščemo sorodnike.
|I would like to spend a few days in Portorož.
Rad bi preživel nekaj dni v Portorožu. /
Rada bi preživela nekaj dni v Portorožu (f.).
|I hope that one day you will visit us in Cleveland.
Upam, da nas nekoč obiščete v Clevelandu.
|How is the weather in Ljubljana in July?
Kakšno vreme imate julija v Ljubljani?
|It is very hot here in the summer.
Tukaj je poleti zelo vroče.
SOME SLOVENE SONGS
|Pojdem na Štajersko|
A young man is planning a trip to Styria, to visit his three girl friends. The first, who is a waitress, will give him something to drink. The second, a cook, will give him something to eat. The third, his beloved, will take him to her room.
|Pojdem na Štajersko
gledat, kaj delajo,
gledat, kaj delajo
Prva je kuhar'ca,
Prva mi jesti da,
|Po Koroškem, po Kranjskem|
All over Carinthia and Carniola the buckwheat is ready to be harvested. A maiden has been cutting it for three days. She is tired, her hands are blistered. After she has reaped three and a half sheaves her beloved comes to carry the sheaves home.
|Po Koroškem, po Kranjskem že ajda zori,
že ajda zori, že ajda zori.
En deklič jo žanje, jo glav'ca boli,
jo glav'ca boli prav zares.
Tri dni jo že žanje, tri snopke ima,
Tri dni jo že žanje, tri snopke in pol,
|Nocoj pa, oh, nocoj|
A young man is taking leave of his beloved, promising he will return from the army in seven years. She laments that she will never see him again, for God only knows when seven years will have passed.
|Nocoj pa, oh, nocoj,
ko mesec svetil bo,
bo k meni ljubi moj
prišel jemat slovo.
»Ne jokaj, ljubica,
|Vrtec ogradila bodem|
A girl is planting carnations and rosemary in her garden, to charm boys with her flowers. But a boy passing by finds other girls more attractive. She answers that her beloved is off carting the wine, and anyway she loves some other boys.
|Vrtec ogradila bodem,
rožic nasadila bodem,
vmes pa nagelj, rožmarin,
da bom golj'fala fante ž njim.
Kaj boš reva ti golj'fala,
Fantič moj po polju hodi,
|Kako bom ljubila|
A girl laments she cannot fall in love anymore. She cannot forget her last year's boyfriend.
|Kako bom ljubila,
k' me srce boli,
saj lanski moj fantič
pozabljen še ni.
Pozabljen bi bil,
(vi) ste /
(ti) si (fam.)
(vi) ste (plural)
I have to
you have to
|I got lost.
|Zgubil sem se.
|a lot veliko
|a little malo
|Question words||and answers|
how much koliko
what kind kakšen
which one kateri
that's why zato
this way tako
this much toliko
this kind takšen
Conjunctions and prepositions
USEFUL BOOKS AND ADDRESSES FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO ESTABLISH CONTACT WITH RELATIVES IN SLOVENIA OR TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE
Andrea Albretti: Colloquial Slovene: a complete language course. London; New York: Routledge, 1995. 323 pp., 2 cassettes. ISBN 0-415-08946-8. Order the book via Amazon internet library.
Slovene language courses at the University of Ljubljana.
Scholarships for study in Slovenia.
Slovene language-learning material.
Online catalogue of Slovenian libraries (all the books published and articles in the last decade).
Daša Komac: English-Slovene and Slovene-English modern dictionary. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 20007, 935 pp. Pocket size. Order the book from http://www.cankarjeva-z.si/.
Anton Grad and al.: Veliki angleško-slovenski slovar. Ljubljana: DZS, 2000, 1377 pp. College-type English-Slovenian dictionary. Available also on the CD-ROM, order from http://zyphir.dzs.si.
Anton Grad and Henry Leeming: Veliki slovensko-angleški slovar. Ljubljana: DZS, 2000, 826 pp. College-type Slovenian-English dictionary. Available also on the CD-ROM, order from http://zyphir.dzs.si.
Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika. Ljubljana: DZS, 2000. 1714 pp. Order this voluminous Slovenian dictionary also on the CD-ROM from http://www.dzs.si/ang/index.htm.
Atlas Slovenije (1:50,000). Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, 19963, 440 pp. Large format. Very detailed maps with city plans and index of even the smallest places. Check the online verson of the book at http://www.iasnet.com and order the book or the CD-ROM from http://www.emka.si/emka/.
The online map of Slovenia and the city map of Ljubljana.
The online map of Ljubljana.
Treasures of Slovenia. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 19974, 330 pp. Large format, with full-page color illustrations. Order from http://www.cankarjeva-z.si/.
Enciklopedija Slovenije. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, 1987-. Till 2001 14 volumes (A—V) of planned 16 of this extensive encyclopedical information on Slovenia appeared. Order the books in Slovenian from http://www.emka.si.
Slovenian tourist board.
Tourist information on Slovenia.
Slovenian tourist info-net.
Janez Bogataj et al.: Kuhinja Slovenije: mojstrovine nove kuharske umetnosti. Ljubljana: Rokus, 2000. 311 pp. Order this precious cookbook from http://www.zalozbarokus.si/indexuk.htm.
Slovenian books and periodicals as Slovenia-Weekly, Slovenija, quarterly magazine, and Rodna gruda, intended to English speaking readers, can be ordered by mail from DZS or from Slovenska izseljenska matica.
Slovenian daily Večer on the Internet.
Slovenian daily Delo on the Internet.
Slovenian radio and TV programmes
Prežihov Voranc: The Self-Sown. Bilingual Edition of a Slovenian classic (Translated and Introduced by Irma M. Ožbalt). New Orleans: Založba Prometej, 1983, 111 pp. Available at Založba Prometej, P.O.Box 8391, New Orleans, LA 70128.
Škrjanček poje. Ljubljana: DZS, 19973, 277 pp. 200 Slovenian folk songs with melodies. Order from http://zyphir.dzs.si.
An online guide to virtual Slovenia.
Slovenian online telephone and e-mail directory with street maps.
Slovenska izseljenska matica (Slovenian emigrant organization).
Slovenian embassies abroad.
The United States Embassy in Ljubljana.
Slovenian genealogical research; try also this Slovenian genealogical address.
American Slovenian genealogical society.
Arhiv Republike Slovenije [The National Archives] (Zvezdarska 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana, tel. +(01) 241-42-00, fax +(01) 241-42-69).
Society for Slovene Studies.
Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria.
Prepared by Zoran Triglav, Aljoša Ocepek, and Miran Hladnik, Feb. 19, 2001.